Perhaps one of the biggest changes has been the change of our office manager. However, Julie, our new office manager, has stepped right in and is doing an excellent job handling almost everything we do.
Another big change has come about due to the retirement of our graphics designer, who has handled our magazine, ads, website updates and other projects for over 20 years. This issue of the magazine is the first generated through a completely new process.
Changes in how we handle WBH branded store items, mailings, even new membership cards are coming down the pike. And that's before all the new issues generated due to Covid 19.
And while adapting to new processes and ways of thinking can be difficult and stressful, in the long run it's beneficial to the organization and is often precisely what we need. Pulling us out of our comfort zone to find better and more efficient ways to operate is what will keep WBH viable and strong, long into the future.
That future, of WBH, bowhunting and even hunting in general, is dependent on the young people of today and use. We need to mentor, teach encourage and facilitate every young person we can, about the joy, peace and satisfaction of shooting a bow and harvesting game.
It is good to know that several of our directors and many active members take that charge very seriously and work tirelessly - with WBH - and independently - to bring up new bowhunters.
Some might say we can't compete with video games and other modern distractions, but that has not been my experience. It has been very encouraging that some of the most "all in" hunters I've ever met are teenagers, or even younger. Sometimes all they need is a small nudge in the right direction, and perhaps a little recognition.
Each year WBH honors those adult and also youth members that take the biggest deer, bear and turkeys in Wisconsin. Starting this year, we will be separating the adult category into separate men's and women's categories. So, whatever category you are in: shoot a big one and be sure to report it to the office.
It has been pointed out that we don't have much youth participation at our conventions. Again, instead of just talking about it, folks are taking action. A very active member from the Stevens Point area has developed plans and organized resources to make future WBH conventions an exciting and activity-filled event for the kids. Watch for details in the next issue.
Also, as it relates to future conventions, the results of the survey taken at the springs convention proved enlightening. To begin with, the historic dates of the first full weekend in March doesn't appear as inflexible as we imagined. 90% of those responding said, that with adequate notice, the weekend before or the weekend after would be acceptable if necessary, to secure the best venue.
The other surprise was the substantial interest in a one-day convention, with 71% of those responding favoring a shortened version of our convention. We are planning some improvements to the convention, including the aforementioned youth activities, but existing contracts regarding time and space requirements, limit potential changes in the short run. However, in the future adjustments can be made, and I'm sure this will be a topic for considerable discussion at our next convention in March.
The 2021 convention will be held at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Stevens Point, which brings us to the next survey topic. Because it's getting difficult to secure a location that meets our needs without booking it years in advance, we asked if the convention could be held in the same venue for a three to five-year span - and where? The response from those who took the survey was 90% favorable, and the preferred location by wide margin was Holiday Inn, Stevens Point. Our intention is to remain there through at least the 2023 convention. If you haven't attended your convention in recent years, make plans now to come to Stevens Point next March 5-7th. We are already lining up seminars and a speaker based on some great suggestions also offered in the survey.
We regularly get calls from members inquiring about the password for the Members Only section of the website. It is: wbhmember and we will list it in each future issue of The Bowhunter, so if you forget or it's changed in the future, just check with WBH Website page in your magazine to find it.
Thank you to all the members that responded to our letter and emails regarding the spring hearings. From the feedback we received, it appears that most of you did vote on- line. Unfortunately, between the unbelievable numbers of folks that recorded votes on-line and the national influence on our state issues, both from the NRA (a longtime supporter of crossbows in archery seasons) and the cross bow manufacturers, we were but a small fraction of the 64, 000+ recorded voters. Even still, over 25,000 folks (48% of those voting on the question) voted to restrict crossbow hunting to October and late season. Interestingly, a much smaller percentage (39%) Favored a more liberal crossbow season hat included September.
From that is appears that many folks didn't feel that either proposal was restrictive enough. In any case, it will now be up to the Natural Resources Board to decide if the crossbow season should be st based on weapon effectiveness, as Wisconsin has historically done with the other deer seasons.
One thing we did discover during the process of alerting the contacting our members was that we are woefully short email address. And surprisingly, we had the fewest email addresses from our long-time members. Thinking that through we realized that when they signed up, in many cases email wasn't even being used yet, and we never requested updates so their records were never updated. So, please consider this a formal request to all members: Please send an email to the office at noting your current email address, your name, and if possible, your membership number. With that, we can update our files and be in a better position to contact our membership quickly (and at considerably less expense), should a critical need arise. We promise we won't bother you with unnecessary emails, and as a matter of WBH policy, none of your information, including emails, is given out to anyone. Thanks for your help with this.
Hopefully, you are all in good health and are preparing for our upcoming bowhunting seasons. If you haven't taken in some of the invitational shoots around the state, please consider it. Many clubs had to cancel shoots due to Covid19 and sure could use your support now. And of course, the best way to make sure you are ready for the season is to attend the WBH State Broadhead Shoot. It's at Kennedy Park north of New Lisbon, and occurs over Labor Day weekend this year due to the late Labor Day making it the last weekend before the deer opener. At this time, we are still planning to hold the shoot, within recommended guidelines related to Covid-19. If anything should change, we will advise you. Hopefully we will see you there!